Saskatchewan’s Energy Future

Public Inquiry

[ad#Google Adsense-2 INLINE RIGHT CSS]In 2009, the government of Saskatchewan launched a public inquiry into the energy needs of the province. To this end the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies invited interested people and groups to present talks and to table documents on the subject. In 2009, the Vision of Earth team attended several of the consultation sessions at the Legislature in Regina. We were especially interested since this consultation was on a subject that we have been pursuing for years.

On January 27th, 2010, Vision of Earth presented to the Committee. We, like all other presenters other than SaskPower, were allocated 15 minutes to present and a maximum of a 45 minute question period afterwards.

In preparation for this presentation, we considered what are the most critical topics to Saskatchewan’s future, and what direct actions by the government would have the greatest positive effect. Combining what we know of Saskatchewan’s energy infrastructure, needs and technical prowess with the political and social climate, we composed a set of recommendations.

Our brainstorming pages led us to consider about 20-25 recommendations. Unfortunately due to time and manpower constraints, we had to pick and choose what to flesh out for the presentation. We decided to choose those recommendations that would fit the best into the context of the public consultations. We read most of the prior submissions to the Committee, and watched most of the presentations. From these sources of information, and the Committee’s Interim Report, we gained the information required to make an educated guess as to how we could best contribute to the discussion.

The topics we chose to pursue in our presentation were: feed-in tariffs, smart grid, LEED certification, and several considerations for our generation capacity. These considerations included cautions about the cost and effectiveness of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), the possibilities afforded by both Wind+Natural Gas power and Wind + Hydro power, taking into account the possibility of brokering an energy trade deal with Manitoba. We closed with a brief overview of Nuclear Power issues and nuclear possibilities for Saskatchewan.

Our presentation and feed-in tariffs proposal are available at the Legislature Committee site. We hope to post our own versions of the pdfs because their version is much larger than it needs to be (8.4 mb versus ~320kb). We have posted our own versions which are much faster to download. You can find both files below. Update: These files have been removed for the time being due to some issues with our download management software.

Our presentation can also be seen in video format on the Legislature website here. Click on the Jan 27th link, we start about 15 minutes into the video, and go for one hour.

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Ben Harack

I graduated from the University of Regina in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2007. I continued my studies there and eventually graduated again in Physics and Psychology in 2010. I am originally from a small town near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. For the last several years, I have been investigating the energy and resource usage of societies in great detail. My interest in this eventually led to the launch of Vision of Earth in 2007. I love to read and write, as well as listen and argue. I pursue knowledge voraciously but I also constantly look for ways to apply it meaningfully to the real world. I play badminton competitively and pursue many other physical activities avidly. My current plans for the future as far as education and employment are broad at this point. What is certain is that I will continue to try my best to learn and teach about those things that I feel are important to me and my society. I enjoy living, thinking and doing. The what, when, where, why and how of those are not as important to me as doing them. I try to better myself and the world around me. I am a firm believer in the power and value of knowledge, and also the responsibility that comes with power. I am humbly grateful to be alive, and hope to make good of the opportunity.

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